Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Book Review: For These Tough Times

No one can turn a phrase like Max Lucado, which may explain why he is one of the best-selling Christian authors in the nation. In his preaching and his writing, Lucado tells a story, creates a metaphor, and multiplies his adjectives to make sure that his point comes across. I so appreciate the emotive style in his writing, not just because it sucks the reader into his thoughts, but because it moves the reader at a deeper level.

Lucado's newest work is a short 75-page reflection on how our faith in Christ helps us during the darkest hours of life - whether that is situational (losing a job or facing a health crisis) or it is permanent (losing a loved one). In each chapter, Lucado treats classic Christian arguments for how a good God can fit in a world with unspeakable evil, but he does it in a very pastoral way - with great illustrations and compelling stories.

Lucado covers topics such as God's everlasting love for us, the power of prayer to change terrible circumstances, the ultimate triumph of good over evil, listening to God during times of pain, forgiving rather than getting evil, and keeping our eyes on God in everything we endure. The thread that ties each chapter together is the cross of Christ. The cross shows us how good can overcome evil, how God is in charge even in our darkest hour, how the Father truly loves us regardless of what we feel at any certain time, and how Jesus understands our pain.

I appreciate Lucado's pastoral heart and his skill with the English language. I would highly recommend you read this book if you are in the midst of a dark hour, and that you pass on this little book to others who are struggling with their faith as they live through tough times.

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